Rule Submission TitleTime In Procedures
USAP Board Voting StatusApproved
USAP Rules Committee Voting StatusPass
IFP Voting StatusAverage: 6.6 Detail:7,6,7,5,8,5,8
Existing Rule #10.A.5
Proposed Rule Change

10.A.5. The referee will announce when there are 15 seconds remaining. At the end of the time-out period, the referee shall call 'time in' and then call the score when all players are (or should be) ready to play.

Original Rule Text

10.A.5. The referee will give the players a warning when there are 15 seconds remaining. At the end of the time-out, the referee will call “time in” and announce the score to begin the 10-second count even if all players are not on the court or not ready to play. If the server does not serve within 10 seconds after the score is called, and no additional time-outs are called or available, a fault will be called.

Reasoning Behind Suggested Change
Proposal:  Change Rule 10.A.5 to be less punitive and revert back to the 2016 rule for handling procedures at the end of time-out periods.
Reason:  Referees (and especially newer referees) are hand-tied when it comes to procedures at the end of the 60-second time-out period. This has caused numerous arguments and debates during matches which are unnecessary; but again the referee is bound to uphold the rigid procedure guidelines.  Pickleball is not a "timed" sport such as baseball, basketball and hockey. The end of a PB match is determined solely by the score without respect to any elapsed time limitation. Referees have many tools and ways with which to get players started playing again and do not need the hard-line 60-second mark as the dividing line in the sand. First hand examples of players who are not delaying the game but are only a few seconds away from being in the proper position, but the referee calls the score at the hard 60-second mark and the server 'quick serves" (which is legal) and catches the receiver "off-guard" thus obtaining a cheap point. This has caused unnecessary arguments which have also led to technical warnings/fouls being issued when, at the core, if the referee could use their discretion and allow a "bit more time", these unnecessary issues (which put a negative stain on our sport) would be all but eliminated.
Precedents: In the current rules, there are 2 precedents on allowing the referee the power to "get players back playing" without imposing a strict time count.  1)  When a team is out of time-outs and inadvertently calls a "time-out", the referee is to remind the team that they have no time-outs remaining and then quickly "get the players back playing".  2) During quick breaks for hydration or toweling off, the referee is to quickly get players back to playing. There are no strict time parameters in these 2 instances. The referee may use any method they choose to get players back on the court and playing. The final step would be to call the score if necessary, but this would be a last resort.
In 2016, the rule used wording "then play must be resumed".  This gives the referee the ability to use judgment on how to get players back to playing promptly.
Rule Book Year2022
Rule Change ID52
Date CreatedJune 2, 2021
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